Star Wars premiered in 1977, and “May the force be with you” resonated with fans from the beginning. On May 4, 1979, Margaret Thatcher was elected Britain’s first female Prime Minister. That night, an ad was placed in The London Evening News that read, “May the Fourth be with you, Maggie. Congratulations.”
Over the years, fans have embraced May 4th as Star Wars Day. Disney even recognizes the day with special events throughout their theme parks.
Let’s pause from our Star Wars Day festivities to recall the difference between speech and language and to provide some real life, or as real life as Star Wars gets, examples.
This play on words of “May the Fourth be with you” is actually a speech error. If someone were really trying to say “May the force be with you” and ended up saying “May the fourth be with you,” then that would be a speech error. The S sound in force turned in to a TH sound, resulting in forth.
And Yoda? Linguists, people who study language, have actually dissected Yoda’s language patterns to figure out some predictable patterns and rules he seems to use. Fans of the films may recall Yaddle from Episode I, a female from the same species as Yoda, who speaks in a similar way as Yoda. Because they are from the same species, it seems that Yoda and Yaddle have a language difference rather than a disorder. Nothing is wrong with the way they speak, it’s relatively consistent language pattern for their species and it’s just different. If you want to see how Yoda or Yaddle might say something, visit Yoda Speak.
Made plans May the Fourth have you? No? Worry, do not.
Here are some ideas to rename ordinary dishes for a spontaneous May the Fourth celebration:
Princess Leia Cinnamon Rolls
Death Star Donut Holes
Storm Trooper Salad
Obi-Wan-Kabobi – fruit, vegetable or meat kabobs
Jabba the Hutt Dogs or Hoth Dogs
Millennium Falcon Mac & Cheese
Luke Skywalker Spaghetti
Wookie Cookies – any Chewie cookie will do
Light sabers – chocolate dipped pretzel rods
Han Rolos – Rolo candies
Hoth chocolate – hot chocolate
Yoda Soda – lemon lime soda over green sherbet
Whether you enjoy a full menu of Star Wars themed food or just an item or two, May the Fourth be with you, because tomorrow is Revenge of the Fifth!
P.S. Revenge of the Fifth, er, Sith…that’s another speech sound error.
Jann Fujimoto, MS CCC-SLP is a speech-language pathologist and owner of SpeechWorks LLC with offices in Waukesha and Oconomowoc, Wisconsin. SpeechWorks helps children become confident and competent communicators.